Thursday, September 17, 2009

Read: The Collector of Hearts by Joyce Carol Oates

The beauty of this collection of 27 short stories is in the everyday. And how terrifying the everyday can be. Oates, like Shirley Jackson (whose Haunting of Hill House was my previous RIP IV Challenge read), is very adept at leading the reader into the story,  and placing these subtle hints and whispers in our minds that we become such an active part of the story, that, at the end of it, we're not quite sure if we are the ones who are creating the horror...

Of course, with 27 stories, some read and forgetton. But the ones that did stick in my mind included The Sky Blue Ball, where the unnamed teenaged narrator throws around a ball with an unseen stranger across a high brick wall. Another creepy one was The Hand-puppet, where young and shy Tippi creates a rambunctious hand-puppet that more or less freaks out her mother. One of my favorite stories was Posthumous, one of the shortest of short stories. However, I feel that even to provide a synopsis would reveal too much! You can sorta guess what it's about from the title though. 

So if you're looking for something a little spooky, something that makes a nightmare out of the mundane, this is the book for you.

This is my fourth read for the RIP IV Challenge, which essentially completes the challenge. But I'm not done yet, as there are many other RIP IV-related books left on my TBR list.

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